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Monday, September 25, 2006

It's bad enough that we have juries like this, but judges?

"I just follow my own common sense. And the hell with the law."
- THOMAS R. BUCKLEY, a longtime justice in Dannemora, N.Y.

I was galled reading this report in today's NYT about small town justice in New York State. I figured an open thread on this story would be a good way to start the week off. Pick out your favorite abuse and offer prawfs-style value-added analysis. Sure seems like good fodder for those afraid of what Austin Sarat calls lawful lawlessness.

Update: Dave Lat has the requisite links to why this is no surprise. After all, state courts are "ghetto."

Posted by Administrators on September 25, 2006 at 08:51 AM in Law and Politics | Permalink


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» NYT on town courts from Appellate Law
PrawsBlawg points to this NYT article which explains begins to catalogue the vast injustice in the New York’s “Town Courts” or “Justice Courts.” While most lawyers know that exist, and know how to get around them, the public does not [Read More]

Tracked on Sep 25, 2006 10:30:47 AM


Not a good press day for the North Country area of New York, where I grew up; all three of the lead examples are from the region (Fort Drum is a bit of a stretch, but close by). All I can say is that I only knew one village justice when I lived there, and although he was not a lawyer either -- he was a teacher -- he took his responsibilities so seriously he refused to even drive over the speed limit while he was a judge. The 155-mile drive down to Albany we did once for a field trip seemed to take forever.

Posted by: Bruce Boyden | Sep 25, 2006 1:59:38 PM

There is a bit of an interesting conflict underlying this article.

On the one hand, some, who call themselves “conservative” say that “lawyers” don’t know justice of common sense. Indeed, when talking to the public they troll this line quite effectively, with their talk of “technicalities” and other injustices. One can make quite a nice living denouncing lawyers.

But on the other hand, we get to see just how silly, incompetent, and evil non-lawyers are when they are required to act in a “just” manner. At some point all the “tort reformers” and “victims rights” advocates will have to take a side: do they want frontier justice, or lawyerly thinking.

There actually was a law review article on just how much of a mockery of justice these courts are that was on SSRN some time ago, but I can’t seem to find it.

Posted by: S.cotus | Sep 25, 2006 12:57:44 PM

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